Dubai: Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has demonstrated the benefits of exercise in space in a new online programme that aired its first episode on Friday.
ELF in Space is being created by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), in collaboration with the Emirates Literature Foundation (ELF). The first episode is now available for viewing online.
Longest Arab space mission
With Al Neyadi currently undergoing the longest Arab space mission in history on the International Space Station, the first episode kicked off with Salem AlMarri, MBRSC director general, and Isobel Abulhoul, chief executive officer and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation.
“On Earth, exercising is important. In space, it’s vital. Aboard the International Space Station, we exercise for 2.5 hours every day to avoid muscle atrophy and bone loss triggered by microgravity,” Al Neyadi tweeted following the episode.
Benefits of exercise
The experts invited everyone to tune into the programme, and spoke on what to expect in the coming episodes. The episode further featured astronauts Sultan Al Neyadi — live from space — and Hazzaa AlMansoori, explaining why exercise in space is crucial and how it differs from exercising on Earth, along with the role that gravity and microgravity plays in the choice of exercise preferences in space.
More than 170 schools signed up to watch the first episode, with visitors tuning in from the UAE, Egypt, India, UK and the US.
For the next 20 weeks, students can follow Sultan Al Neyadi on his journey on the International Space Station. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to learn from authors, space experts, and other astronauts such as Hazzaa AlMansoori, Nora AlMatrooshi, and MBRSC team members. These individuals will discuss the challenges of working in space, and the innovations that help overcome them.
A new episode will be available every Thursday at 8:30am, and will be available to watch for free, with subtitles for students from anywhere in the world. Each episode will focus on different topics to help students understand how what they learn in class can impact their lives and the world around them.
To keep students engaged, and to encourage them to explore the subject on their own, extra activities and resources will also be available for download every week.
Pupils can share their attempts on social media using the hashtag #ELFinSpace for a chance to be featured on the initiative’s website or to be showcased by Sultan AlNeyadi on the International Space Station.
Magic of space travel
ELF In Space aims to incorporate the wonder of space travel into the standard school curriculum. By exploring the science of space and sparking imaginations, the programme aims to inspire the next generation of astronauts.